DESERT DASH (3 Nights/4 days)
The language of Waves, “Rest, Relax and Reflect”! “You need to lose yourself and disappear in the depths of the repetitions? Find a coast and watch the repetitive waves! Soon your mind vanishes away and when your mind disappears you disappear!” (Mehmet Murat ildan). Before we get to the Namibian Coast, let us explore the oldest desert in the world (55 million years), with reddish/orange sand dunes estimated to be 5 million years old! Our Desert Dash Tour is short, during a period of 4 days, one will get a chance to get a hang of the Namib Desert.
Desert Sundowner Drive, Dead Vlei, Sand Dune Climbing (“Big Daddy” or Dune 45), Sossusvlei, Sesriem Canyon,
Scenic Drive, Walvis Bay Lagoon
Catamaran Tour, Sandwich Harbour Tour, Living Desert Tour
Shipwreck, Cape Cross Seal Reserve
This tour gives one an opportunity to see some desert adapted wildlife, mostly endemic to this area. Please note that this tour can be customized to suite your specific needs and interests.
Your guide will pick you up either from the airport or accommodation in Windhoek. We will drive southwards to the desert through scenic landscapes that may include mountain passes depending on the road being used. You will have a lunch stop along the way to Sossusvlei. We will be in Sossusvlei area before sunset and enjoy the sundowner drive in the desert.
Day 2- Swakopmund
An early morning start will see us getting into the Namib Naukluft Park. Early morning light shining on these red sand dunes gives one great photographic opportunities and memories of the magnificent Namib Desert. The Namib Naukluft Park is the third largest National Park in Africa covering and area of 50 000 km2 . The Namib desert has been arid for about 80 million years, with true desert conditions predominating the last 15 to 20 million years. Various wildlife thriving in this area includes Gemsbok, Springbok, Brown Hyaena, Black-backed Jackal among others. If lucky you might see the only true Namibia Endemic bird, the Dune Lark among various birds in this area. We will visit the most photographed sand dune in the area, Dune 45. Depending on your energy levels, climbing one of the highest sand dune in the area, the Big Daddy, is quite fun. A visit to the Dead Vlei is worthwhile. This a white clay pan with dry Camel Thorn trees that are believed to have been dead 800 years ago. The area is so dry that the trees have not decomposed. After a visit to the Sossusvlei we will then visit the Sesriem Canyon. It is about a kilometer long and 30 (100ft) meters deep and might have some water, quite important for animals to drink. After lunch we will make our way to the Coast past scenic Gaub and Kuiseb passes. We will go past Walvis Bay Lagoon for some interesting water birds including Flamingoes. We will then overnight in Swakopmund and enjoy some dinner in some of the best restuarants.
Day 3- Swakopmund
We have options for this day. All optional activities start in the morning after breakfast:
The Living Desert Tour
This tour is done in the Dorob National Park sand dunes. Dry bone, without a trace of moisture and as dry as a weathered bone! These terms may be used to describe this unique biome with sneaky creatures that have adapted to living in harsh environment. For these little creatures either camouflage or agility, to faking deaths, helps in serving food on the table or avoid being someone’s meal somehow. This is a 4 to 5 -hour activity conducted by passionate and experienced desert specialists who happen to be desert conservationists as well. If lucky, you might see the desert “Little Five”; the Shovel-nosed Lizard, Namib Sand Gecko, Namaqua Chameleon, Namib Desert Sidewinding Adder and the Cartwheeling Spider (Dancing White Lady). Birds of interest include the Gray’s Lark, Tractrac Chat, Damara Tern among others. You should be back around lunch time and enjoy a stroll around the Swakopmund city or take any optional activities that we can arrange for you in advance.
Catamaran and Sandwich Harbour Combo.
This takes the whole day and is done in Walvis Bay. Your guide will drive you to Waterfront in Walvis Bay after breakfast. You start with the Catamaran tour and you might get entertained by Cape Fur Seals and Pelicans on the cruise. Depending on the time of the year and luck, one might encounter Whales, Dolphins, Leatherback turtle and Seals.
After lunch you then proceed to the Sandwich Harbour, on an adventure 4 x 4 sand dune driving. This is one of the 5 RAMSAR sites (Wetlands of International Importance) where the dunes meet the sea. The coastal desert environment is characterized by pale sand dunes with traces of black shades of magnetite, implying they are of greater aesthetic value as well being a photographer’s playground. You might encounter Black-backed Jackal, Oryx, Springboks on your way in dry riverbeds. In these wetlands and mudflats there is great diversity of sea birds. After this busy day, your guide will pick you up and take you back to Swakopmund.
After breakfast you will drive back to Windhoek. Depending on your flight schedule, there is a possibility of going past a Shipwreck and also experience the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. This is the largest seal colony in the world.